Well, 2 weeks have flown by once again! Life is busy as ever here as a 61 and my weeks are filled with a whole range of different things!
I’ve mentioned before, Soul61 is great to be a part of; the relationships I’ve formed are incredible and the way we work with each other and grow together is so exciting. Community is great. It’s how we need to be working together to see change in our wider communities and our world. But to be effective in a community we need to know who we are as individuals.
And we are all individuals. Every one of us. Uniquely made, formed and brought into being.
Psalm 139:14 says this;
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (NIV)
We can praise God because he knew what he was doing when he created us. We are uniquely made, known and loved by our creator.
And he wants us to know that. He wants us to know we were made by him, loved by him and are cherished by him. He knows us better than we know ourselves and so when we’re looking to know who we are as individuals, where better place to look than to the one who created us.
You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit… (Psalm 139, The Message)
He knows us inside and out and loves us. When we’re acting together to make a difference, we do so confident in the truth that we were created by a powerful God; we were brought into being by the creator of the universe; created with individual gifts and abilities that we can use as a team.
A team with the up-the-front-speakers, the people who are hospitable, caring, servant-hearted, dreamers, organizers…and so many other giftings too.
No one could manage this by themselves but everyone can play their part the best they can- being confident in who they are as a unique and loved child. And once we’re confident in that, we can be confident in what we’re doing and so able to bring about real change. This isn’t being big headed or boastful- it’s knowing that we’re loved and created with the ability to do these things.
Jesus commands us to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind’ and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. Once we know who we are and how loved we are, we can love our neighbor so much more; our love for them will be real because our understanding of ourselves will be real.
This love for our neighbor will overflow into our actions. How we love those who don’t know love, who’ve only ever grown up in a life of cruelty and lack of love. How we can show them the value they have, the worth they hold but don’t know. If we can learn to love ourselves, we will begin to be able to love our neighbors in a new way, leading them to the ultimate love of Christ, to the full realization of their worth and into the freedom of being who they are.